Restoring a Modern Classic

The Van Nelle Factory in Rotterdam is one of the key landmarks of modernism; and Dutch architect Wessel de Jonge will describe how he restored it in a lecture at The Getty Center this Thursday, November 15, 2012. The Getty loves pompous titles and has christened this one “Continuity and Change: Approaches to Conserving Modern Architecture Internationally”. It’s part of the Getty Conservation Institute’s new and welcome focus on modern buildings, which began with a long-term program to restore and maintain the Eames house. What makes the Van Nelle so exciting is its fusion of poetry and functionalism. The Dutch industrialist C.H.Van der Leeuw, who loaned Neutra the money he needed to build the VDL house in Silverlake, believed that his workers deserved the best working conditions, and the model factory (which is open for public tours) now serves new media and design companies. Imagine any of Bain Capital’s ventures being held up as an exemplar, 90 years from now! The lecture will be presented in the Harold Williams Theater at 7 p.m.; click here to reserve your free tickets. — Michael Webb

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